Crime Of The Green
It’s been a bit quiet on the Cale front while my wife and I have been house-hunting. We also learned a minor fact about our favourite Scottish city, Glasgow, that we found quite bemusing when we were up there recently.
No-one can deny that football—or soccer, if you live in North America—is one of the world’s leading sports. I was raised on the game by my Dad, who is a Spurs fan, and I still watch it on the box sometimes. I've also gone to games here and there with friends, though not many, mind you. However, another thing that can’t be denied is that football has been tainted by decades of rioting. While most fans don't get involved in this, it has led to a lot of damage inside and outside stadiums, to injuries and, in some cases, even deaths.
So what the hell does this have to do with Glasgow, and my music, you ask? Well, we didn’t see any riots when we were up there, let’s make that clear. But Glasgow has been affected by it too, in the past. Rangers and Celtic are the two big football clubs in the city, and rivalry is not in short supply. Now that’s normal, of course. And I don’t hate Rangers at all, in fact I looked up to Ally McCoist as a kid, he was a great striker. But as someone with a love of Irish music, the Irish pubs and a cynical attitude towards imperialism, I tend more towards Celtic these days. Am I ashamed to be British? No. But am I overly proud to be British? Again, no.
Therefore, it surprised me when I started reading reports about some places in and around Glasgow being very anti-green, i.e. in favour all things Rangers and Protestantism, and against all things Celtic, Catholic and...basically...green. Seriously, even traffic lights were getting vandalised in some places because they’ve got green on them. Or retailers are wary of using the colour, in case it’s bad for business or their shops get targeted. So I had to ask myself: does it really have to be that way?
Due to this, the latest song idea I’ve been working on is about sectarianism in football. About how people supporting opposing clubs still have one very big thing in common: the game itself. They might not support the same team, but they support the same sport, sure enough. And they surely all support Scotland whenever any tournaments or qualifiers are on. So while the rivalry, banter and taunting are inevitable at the match, extreme attitudes and behaviour are unnecessary, in my view. And the more violent it becomes, the more unnecessary (and fucking annoying) it becomes. Especially when you consider that out-of-control violence can cause anyone to get hurt. Or killed. Call me crazy, or "not a proper football fan", but an uninvolved, innocent person’s death is not something I’d want on my conscience, no matter what team I support. I think most footie fans agree with me.
For me, the game should be about The Beautiful Game, not the rucking. I don't need to be a troublemaker to know that rioting can lead to all sorts of unexpected and unwanted consequences. What do you think? Drop me a line and let me know. Further updates on the new music to follow!